Independent mining adviser Ukwazi strongly believes in following transparent and compliant mine planning processes by applying specialist teams that are focused on specific mining methods and commodities.
“We follow outcome-driven project management principles and supply specialist technical services as required by clients. We are structured to provide on-site and off-site technical services for small aggregate quarries to some of the largest operations in Africa,” the Centurion, Gauteng, company explains.
Established in 2004, the company has a proven 12-year record involving the supply of strategic mine planning, mine design, on- site mining engineering, mine planning and project management services, with steady annual growth of 20% over the last 5 years.
With 35 staff, comprising 16 mining engineers, 13 mine planners and cost specialists, four project managers and two office staff, Ukwazi is 70%-owned by its founding members, while the balance of the company is held by the rest of its employees.
Over the last three months, Ukwazi has been involved in on-site life-of-mine (LoM) plan setup and planning software training for iron-ore supplier Kumba Iron Ore; an on-site mine planning contract for the implementation of the new Guinea Alumina Corporation bauxite mine; ongoing on-site short- and medium-term mine planning for manganese miner United Manganese of the Kalahari and ongoing on-site mine planning, drill and blast engineering, and project management services for the Koffiefontein and Cullinan diamond mines.
Other activity over this period includes securing three mining works programmes for copper, manganese and gold projects; undertaking the mining, geotechnical, hydrology and geohydrology sections of a feasibility study for the Jonnagiri gold mine, in India; off-site LoM and strategic mine planning for diamond producer Petra Diamonds; shaft complex optimisation for gold miner Harmony Gold; a scoping study for a copper project in South Africa; due diligence studies for various chrome and platinum operations under corporate action; the mining section of a prefeasibility study for a major South African coal producer; the boxcut design and access design feasibility study for a major South African coal producer; and a project management contract for a multimine geotechnical drilling and modelling project for a major coal producer in South Africa.
The company is structured into eight teams, each led by a senior, experienced mining engineer. Four of the dedicated teams focus on different mining methods and the other four on a specific specialist services. These teams comprise members with diverse technical mining and production experience, ranging from mine manager to mine planner, and understand the constraints and opportunities that exist on mines. These teams support Ukwazi’s competent principal mining engineers to sign off on mineral and/or ore reserves on a range of commodities and mining methods.
“Our specialists in the ‘engine room’ come from solid technical backgrounds and have gained extensive technical project and mine planning experience at Ukwazi,” notes the company, adding that it follows a sound and proven technical planning process that has withstood various external audits and reviews over the years.
Ukwazi offers specialist studies that include on-site mine planning; on-site operational turnarounds; project management services for technical and execution projects; compliance reports, such as annual reports and competent persons reports; and mining works programmes.
Also available are formal studies on coal, openpit and underground narrow tabular and massive mines, which include LoM planning, reserve estimates, feasibility studies and implementation plans.